Wooster - Baytown.org

An Application for an Official Texas Historical Marker for
By Trevia Wooster Beverly
with assistance of Bernice Mistrot and Janet K. Wagner1
for the Baytown Historical Preservation Association
and presented to the Harris County Historical Commission
Wooster: Its Beginning and Its End
The small unincorporated town of Wooster, Texas, an independent rural community for
70 years but now a part of Baytown, was the dream of John Quincy Adams Wooster, generally
known as Q. A. Wooster. Descended from the well-known Edward Wooster2 family of
Connecticut, his life spanned from September 4, 1839 in Walden, Caledonia County, Vermont,
to February 21, 1908 in Wooster, Harris County, Texas.
Detailed biographies of Q. A. Wooster published in 1890 (History of Monona County,
Iowa)3 and 1918 (A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans)4 relate that as was the custom of
the time, at the age of 18 (sic) he was “given his time” by his father,5 and the following four
years were spent in the lumber woods of the state of Maine. In the summer of 1860 he went west,
settling in Fillmore County, Minnesota, to engage in lumbering and agriculture. He briefly
served in the Civil War, and later in the Sioux Indian Massacre as a member of the Home Guard
protecting the settlers.6 Selling his Minnesota property, he moved with his wife, Catharine, and
his young son, Alfred Quincy,7 to Monona County, Iowa in the spring of 1865. Traveling in a
prairie schooner, they arrived in Cooper Township where he homesteaded. Selling that property,
he relocated in Maple Township in 1867, where he became active in area affairs. When a new
school was to be built that year, “through the energy and impartial decisions of the presiding
justice, A.A. [Q. A.] Wooster, all difficulties were settled satisfactorily.”8 He was active in
school affairs and served on the school board; in December 1871, he was the first to mention
establishing a debating club in the township.9
In 1891 he came south and visited the Houston area as a traveling correspondent for the
Monona County Democrat.10 Taking a definite liking to the bay area, he went home to Iowa,
sold the farm,11 and moved his family once again, to locate on the shores of Scott’s Bay12 in
Harris County. Here he and his business partners purchased over 1200 acres located in three
adjacent land grants: the Nathaniel Lynch league,13 the James Strange labor,14 and the William
Hilbus one-third league. A significant portion of this area is under water today.
© Trevia Wooster Beverly
Harris County Historical Commission
September 20, 2014
Approximate area of the
Q. A. Wooster property
that is submerged today
per Texas General Land
Office topo map, 2014
“Historic Sites and
Geographic Features of
the Baytown Area,”
frontispiece of Margaret
Swett Henson’s book,
History of Baytown
© Trevia Wooster Beverly
Harris County Historical Commission
September 20, 2014
Bayway Drive is the dividing line between the two major sections of Wooster, which
have very different histories. To the west of Bayway Drive lies the portion in the Nathaniel
Lynch league, which did not develop into a town in Q. A. Wooster’s lifetime, but became
Wooster Heights and the Brownwood subdivision of Wooster in the 1930s. To the east of
Bayway Drive lies the portion in the James Strange labor, which developed into the town of
Wooster in the 1920s and eventually included a small business district. These two sections will
be discussed separately.
Early History of the Land
Nathaniel Lynch came to this bay area in the summer of 1822 as one of Stephen F.
Austin’s Old Three Hundred15 colonists, bringing with him his wife Frances and three children
(two sons and a daughter). The Lynch family came from Missouri to New Orleans, where they
took passage on a vessel coming to Texas. Fanny bore her third son, John J. Lynch, here in
1823. On August 19, 1824, Lynch received title to a league of land in the area that later became
Harris County.
The census of March 1826 listed Nathaniel Lynch as a carpenter, farmer, and stock raiser,
age 40, born in New York and recently arrived from Missouri. His household included his wife,
Fanny Hubert, sons Benjamin Franklin, William, and John, daughter Elizabeth, and two
servants.16 The settlement that grew up around his headright and steam sawmill at the juncture
of Buffalo Bayou and the San Jacinto River was called Lynchburg.17 He operated a ferry service
across the San Jacinto River, receiving a license for it in 1830, and his home was an inn for
travelers. His first ferry was operated on Crystal Bay, east of the present-day ferry.
Nathaniel Lynch died in 1837, and Mrs. Lynch, who had married Col. Martin Hardin in
1840, sold portions of the land to John Rundell19 (480½ acres that became the Rundell
Plantation, plus the approximately 400-acre Marsh Point)20 in September 1843 and to Talcott
Patching21 (150 acres, including the 20-acre Goat Island) in September 1845.22
John Rundell died intestate in August 1863, survived by his third wife, Isabella; two
daughters from his second marriage, Emma and Clara Rundell; and three of the six children of
his first marriage, Francis M., Phoebe, and Oliver H. Rundell.23 The ensuing legal wrangling
between the children of the two marriages was not resolved until December 1879, several years
after Francis and Oliver, each of whom had served as administrator of the Rundell estate, had
died.24 The 1879 final decree awarded 100 acres out of the center of the Rundell Plantation to
© Trevia Wooster Beverly
Harris County Historical Commission
September 20, 2014
Phoebe (Rundell) Adams, wife of B. F. Adams; the western 190¼ acres plus Marsh Point to
Clara (Rundell) Wasson, wife of Wiley Craven Wasson,25 and the eastern 190¼ acres to Emma
(Rundell) Wasson, wife of William T. Wasson.26
In 1883, Garrett L. Scott of Grimes County (no known relationship to William Scott, for
whom Scott’s Bay is named)27 purchased all of the above Wasson property.28 All of these
Rundell and Patching tracts were included in the land purchased by Q. A. Wooster and W. D.
Crow in October 1892.29 (Rundell’s estate also included a 252-acre parcel in the Lynch league
north of the 480½ acres, some of which later became part of Lakewood.)
James Strange also arrived in the area in 1822.30 Also one of Austin’s Old Three
Hundred, Strange came with friends Thomas, Daniel D., and Elijah Deckrow (DeCrow), who
settled on Matagorda Bay in 1823. For a while, Strange acted as agent on Galveston Bay for
Daniel Deckrow (DeCrow), who had a small sailing vessel. On August 24, 1824, Strange
received title to his labor of land between the properties of Nathaniel Lynch and William Scott.
Strange and Lynch were in dispute over land boundaries in 1825. In April 1825 James Strange
was the constable for the San Jacinto district.31
The census of 1826 classified James Strange as a farmer and stock raiser, a single man,
age 44, born in South Carolina and recently arrived from the “Isle of Cuba.” He was then living
with Christian Smith, Sr. and his wife Rachel Pafford, and their children, Christian, Jr.,
Elizabeth, and Elleanor Smith.32 He subsequently sold this land to a Christian Smith. The
Strange labor changed hands a dozen more times between 1830 and 1894.33 Although Strange
sold this property, he remained in the area through 1850, living with Jesse and Sarah White.34
James Strange also received another grant of 7-1/3 labors (the balance of his one-third league
headright) near Humble in February 1838.35
On July 28, 1838, a James Strange was awarded 320 acres near Huntsville by the
Secretary of War for military service from March 20 to April 4, 1836.36 While it is not certain
this is the same person, his advanced age as indicated in the 1850 census (54 in 1836), is
consistent with a medical discharge just two weeks after enrolling.37
William Hilbus arrived in Texas sometime after the 1826 census, but before March 2,
1836, as he qualified for 1/3 league as a single man. He also received 640 acres in Austin
County for his military service in the Republic of Texas, May- November 1836.38
Sprinkled throughout the deeds and abstracts39 are historical names such as Estevan
(Stephen) F. Austin and David G. Burnet. Landmarks and distances in the early deeds
© Trevia Wooster Beverly
Harris County Historical Commission
September 20, 2014
reproduced in the abstract are marked in varas, and include descriptive terms such as “cigarettesmoking distance” from a given point, or “a cluster of five elm trees near the water.”
The Founding Families of Wooster
Q. A. Wooster and his wife, Catharine, moved from Mapleton, Monona County, Iowa,
and settled in Harris County early in 1892. Wooster and his business partner, Willard D. “Bill”
Crow, also from Monona County, began buying property in the area. They settled on the
peninsula bordered by Scott’s Bay, Crystal Bay, and Burnet Bay, being a part of the Nathaniel
Lynch league. The next year,40 a third family from Monona County arrived in Harris County:
Junius Brown and his wife, Mary Augusta Goodrich, originally from New York, and several of
their eight children settled nearby on the James Strange labor. "The Browns, who apparently
did not know them in Iowa, lived two townships distant from the Wooster and Crow families.41
Eventually, Q. A. Wooster’s son, John Lewis Wooster, married Junius Brown’s daughter,
Jessie Margaret Brown.42 Sarah Edith Brown, another daughter of Junius Brown, married
Wesley Ernest Crow, son of W. D. Crow’s brother, John Wesley Crow, a rice farmer who also
lived nearby.43 One of Junius’ sons, Bertram “Bert” Brown, married Ora Isenhour, whose family
had come to the area from Minnesota and purchased the old Bayland Orphans Home property in
1897.44 After Catharine’s death in 1900, Q. A. Wooster married Ora Isenhour’s older sister,
Adeline Isenhour.45
The Wooster, Brown, and Crow families, with their intermarriages, were the founding
families of Wooster. However, W. D. Crow sold his interests here before 1900 and moved to the
George W. Eaton grant in northwest Harris County, just east of what is today the intersection of
FM 1960 and Jones Road.46 He subsequently left Texas, and by 1920 he had settled in Howell
County, Missouri, where he died in 1932.47
Most of the children of Q. A. Wooster and Junius Brown settled in the James Strange
labor, just east of where Q. A. platted his original town.48 The nucleus of the town was near the
intersection of Market Street Road (now Bayway Drive)49 and Wooster Street. Mostly Wooster
families lived on this street. John L. Wooster and Jessie Margaret (Brown) Wooster divided
their ten-acre homesite into homesites for four of their eight children: Roy, Ruth (Mrs. Frank E.
Kelly), Ancil, and Clyde. Their other four children also lived in the greater Wooster area. The
youngest son, Francis Gerald “Gump” Wooster, lived with the family until he enlisted in the U.S.
© Trevia Wooster Beverly
Harris County Historical Commission
September 20, 2014
Navy during World War II. After the war he returned home, married, and lived on John A Street
and later on Crow Road until his death. Quincy Adams Wooster never married and continued to
live with his parents, retaining the home site until his death in 1987.
Acre lots in Wooster Heights (the easternmost part of the Wooster-Crow property in the
Lynch league) were given to John L. Wooster, Jr. on Weaver Street and to Ray Brown Wooster
on Wood Avenue. Two of Junius Brown’s grandsons also had acre lots in Wooster Heights:
Howard (son of Bert) lived on Weaver Street and Junius Walter “June” (son of Walter) lived on
Wood Avenue.
Junius Brown owned most of the Strange labor. He resided on the portion that lay
between Market Street Road and Scott’s Bay, and purchased some adjoining lots in the Lynch
league, just across present-day Bayway Drive. He kept a large lot for himself and gave nearby
lots to three of his eight children, Bernice (Mrs. James Manual), Walter, and Bert.
Most of the Wooster-Crow property in the Lynch league (the part west of Steinman
Street), was developed as the Brownwood Subdivision of Wooster in the late 1930s. North of
Wooster Heights and Brownwood, beyond the area of the original Wooster-Crow property, an
upscale new subdivision called Lakewood was developed in the late 1940s. All of these areas
were considered part of Wooster.
The shell road that later became Market Street Road began in Goose Creek, went through
the Wooster community, across the San Jacinto Bridge, and into Houston. The area through
Wooster was maintained by local residents using rice-farming equipment.
Wooster Family Cemetery
When Q. A. Wooster purchased the land in the Lynch league in 1892, there was at least
one grave on it, located in what is shown on the 1893 plat as Lot 1 or Lot 2, Block K, near the
west end of Mapleton Avenue.50 It was marked with a large marble slab bearing only the words
“My Father,” and is thought to be the grave of Talcott Patching, who had previously owned that
part of the peninsula.51
The 1893 map shows a structure that measures about 30 by 50 feet near this location, but
its function is unknown. It was not present during the lifetimes of presently living family
members, and is not mentioned in family tradition. Given the proximity to the Patching grave,
perhaps it was the Patching home or barn.
© Trevia Wooster Beverly
Harris County Historical Commission
September 20, 2014
The Wooster family established a small cemetery close to, but not including, this lone
grave. The first family burial was that of Q. A.’s son Martin Elmer Wooster, on October 8,
1894. Q. A. Wooster’s son John L. Wooster bought these two lots at the end of Mapleton
Avenue, together with the family cemetery, when the Wooster estate was divided and sold. He
and his son Ray Brown Wooster maintained the cemetery for the rest of their lives. Sadly, the
entire cemetery has been lost to subsidence, and is now under water. Only three graves and two
other gravestones were moved.52
Land Transactions - Nathaniel Lynch League
On October 20 and 21, 1892, Q. A. Wooster and W. D. Crow purchased the following
property in two deeds,53 one from Phoebe (Rundell) Adams and one from Garrett L. Scott:
(1) Three parcels comprising the 480½ acres of the Rundell Plantation, (2) the 150-acre Talcott
Patching tract, (3) Marsh Point (sometimes called Mary’s Point), all of the above being in the
Nathaniel Lynch league, and, some distance away, (4) 11½ acres in the William Hilbus 1/3
This Wooster-Crow property, which is primarily the peninsula and mainland bordered by
Scott’s Bay on the south, by Crystal Bay on the west, by Burnet Bay (Bay of St. Mary’s)54 on the
north, and by the James Strange labor on the east, also includes the 20-acre Goat Island and the
400-acre Marsh Point, and is shown in yellow (and in blue crosshatching) on the map on Page 2.
Here Wooster and Crow deliberately laid out the plan for the town of Wooster in both large plots
and small in order to attract residents for the new town, and then notified folks back home that
they had property for sale in Texas. In a letter55 dated Wooster, Texas on May 13, 1894, Q. A.
Wooster wrote to his daughter Nellie, “I fully believe this coast country has a bright and
prosperous future and that I made no mistake in investing here.” In fact, however, the town he
envisioned did not begin to really develop until decades after his death.
The plat that Wooster and Crow recorded in Harris County on January 20, 1893 includes
686.6 acres, most of it divided into 40-acre outlots (see Appendix, pages 3 and 5).56 Only the
part along Scott’s Bay (Block I, Block K, and the townsite) was divided into residential-sized
lots. Ironically, the planned 22.7-acre townsite (Blocks A-H), which was bounded by Iowa,
Crow, and Campbell streets and Scott’s Bay, was at relatively low elevation compared to the rest
of the peninsula, and is now almost completely submerged.
© Trevia Wooster Beverly
Harris County Historical Commission
September 20, 2014
They named many of the streets for people and places in Iowa, and for their extended
families. These streets included: Mapleton Avenue, Monona Street, and Iowa Street, for
Mapleton, Monona County, Iowa, where they lived before coming to Texas; Crow Avenue and
Brown Street for W. D. Crow and Junius Brown; Steinman Street and Shreck Avenue, for
Wooster’s sons-in-law, Steve Steinman and, W.A. Shreckengaust; and Weaver Avenue, for Gen.
James B. Weaver, the Greenback party nominee whom Wooster had supported for president in
1880. However, there was never a Wooster Street on this property.
On the same day that they filed the above plat, Wooster and Crow partitioned the
property between them.57 Wooster retained everything west of Iowa Street, including Marsh
Point, Goat Island, and Block K, site of the Rundell home and outbuildings. Crow retained
everything east of Iowa Street, including the 104-lot townsite, the 11.5-acre tract in the Hilbus
grant, and Block I, where Crow built his home. There were also buildings in Block I at this time.
Details of the two homesteads are described later.
In October 1898, W. D. Crow sold the 280 acres between Iowa and Steinman Streets,
which included the planned townsite and his home in Block I, to J. S. Wilson and wife Mollie F.
Wilson, who sold it to Q. A. Wooster’s daughter Dora Richmond and her husband George
Richmond in 1901. The Wilsons sold the outstanding notes on the land to Q. A. Wooster in
1902, and in 1904, Wooster took the property back, as the notes had not been paid.58 Thus, the
property in the 1893 plat was reunited under one owner, except for the wedge-shaped tract
between Steinman Street and Bayway Drive, which became Wooster Heights in April 1930.59
Q. A. Wooster died in 1908, and two years later, Edwin Rice Brown Sr., a native of
Mississippi and no relation to the Brown family from Iowa, purchased most of the property that
had been platted by Wooster and Crow in 1893, plus Marsh Point, from the Wooster estate.60
Initially, Brown bought the property hoping to strike oil. When that failed to materialize, he used
the area as winter grazing land for his cattle. After Edwin Brown died in 1928,61 his widow,
Myra Cabaniss Brown, and her three children subdivided the peninsula, beginning in 1937,
calling it the “Brownwood subdivision of Wooster.” 62 Brownwood became an exclusive
residential area with many restrictions. Lots on the Crystal Bay side were sold to Humble Oil
executives who built stately homes along the shore with beautiful views of the water and the
recently constructed San Jacinto Monument. In 1940, Harris County Commissioners Court
cancelled the 1893 plat of the 22.7-acre townsite at the request of Myra C. Brown.
© Trevia Wooster Beverly
Harris County Historical Commission
September 20, 2014
Land Transactions – James Strange Labor
On December 3, 1892, just six weeks after Wooster and Crow purchased their land in the
Lynch league, Junius Brown purchased the east half of the James Strange labor, containing 88½
acres and abutting Wooster and Crow’s 11½ acres in the Hilbus grant, from Thomas Arthur and
wife Mary G. Arthur for $2000.00.63 Family tradition indicates that Brown arrived in 1893;
however in a lawsuit filed in June 1893, Junius Brown and Frank Burke (owner of the west half
of the Strange labor), allege that they “were the owners of said property and in the quiet and
peaceable possession and enjoyment thereof on or about the first day of Jany. 1893 when said
defendants [the heirs of Christian Smith, deceased] without right entered upon said premises and
unlawfully ejected plaintiffs therefrom.” 64
Brown and Burke were successful in their suit to clear the title, for on March 9, 1894,
Q. A. Wooster, Junius Brown, and W. D. Crow purchased the west half of the James Strange
labor, containing 88½ acres, from Frank G. Burke for $1600.00.65 By the end of June 1894,
Wooster had sold his 1/3 undivided interest in this property to Clarence W. Iddings66 of Monona
County, Iowa, for $666.67, and Crow had sold his 1/3 undivided interest to Junius Brown, for
$666.67.67 In March 1895, Brown and Iddings filed a plat of the “Brown & Iddings Addition to
Wooster, being the James Strange labor” of 177 acres (see Appendix, page 6).68
The only street on the 1895 plat was the county road that was later called Market Street
Road. The area north of the road was divided into blocks of 10 to 25 acres each; the lots between
the road and Scott’s Bay ranged from about half an acre to about four acres. In August 1895,
Brown and Iddings partitioned the west half, leaving Iddings with 30 acres in the northwest
corner (Blocks A-B-C) and Block H, which consisted of five lots on Scott's Bay with a combined
area of 4.1 acres. Brown owned the rest of the Strange labor.69 Two years later, C. W. Iddings,
still a resident of Monona County, sold Lots 1 and 2 of Block H to Junius Brown.70
The discovery of oil beside Tabbs Bay in 1908, the year of Q. A. Wooster’s death,
brought development to the town of Wooster that he had only dreamed of. In 1919, Humble Oil
& Refining Company began building a refinery to serve the Goose Creek oil field, and today this
refinery, now a part of ExxonMobil, is one of the largest in the world.71 The historical marker for
Humble Oil & Refining Company notes that “as the company expanded and employed more
people, a town grew up around the refinery. The company provided low-interest home loans to
its employees.”72
© Trevia Wooster Beverly
Harris County Historical Commission
September 20, 2014
Junius Brown died on October 27, 1922.73 Three months later his widow, Mary, sold
99.06 acres of the Strange labor to B. Frank Sterling.74 In January 1924, the southern portion of
the Strange labor adjacent to the north side of Market Street Road (99.06 acres, being Blocks DE-F-L-M on the 1895 plat) was platted as “Stirling’s (sic) Baytown Addition.”75 Most of the lots
were about one acre, though the Wooster family had some 6- and 10-acre parcels on Market
Street Road. The addition was bounded by North Street on the north, by John A Street76 along
the east edge of the Strange labor and by Market Street Road (which still did not have a name)
on the south and west sides. First Street (later Arbor Street) and Second Street (later Wooster
Street) appear for the first time on this plat.
The northeast corner of the Strange labor (Blocks N-O on the 1895 plat) is shown on the
1924 plat as owned by Humble Oil & Refining Co., and became Wooster Terrace in November
1945.77 The northwest corner (C. W. Iddings’ Blocks A-B-C) is shown on the 1924 plat as
owned by Q. A. Wooster’s son-in-law Steve Steinman (although the Steinmans moved to Erie,
Kansas between 1910 and 1918). This parcel, plus a small portion of the Hilbus 1/3 league,
became Wooster Terrace Extension in February 1947.78
Q. A. Wooster’s Texas homestead
At least eight structures are indicated on the 1893 Wooster-Crow plat in the Nathaniel
Lynch league. While it is not certain which, if any, were built after Wooster and Crow
purchased the property just three months earlier, it is believed that most of them dated to John
Rundell’s residence here, 1843-1863. The four buildings in Block K included the antebellum
Rundell plantation house, a workshop, and a barn. Q. A. Wooster moved into the plantation
house and lived there the rest of his life.
The Rundell-Wooster house, the oldest in the entire Baytown area, had withstood storms
since the 1840s and sheltered Brownwood families during the peak of Hurricane Carla in 1961.
The front of the old house faced the bay, having been built for the sea breeze. Q. A. Wooster
added the widow’s walk79 and other improvements. With its above-ground cellar, the house
appeared to have three and a half stories. Brick in the foundation was larger than the standard
size of today, and the chimney and fireplace bricks were made with the use of a hand mold. The
main floor consisted of the front porch, living room with fireplace, kitchen, bath, bedrooms and
back porch. Above were another story and a half, and various attic openings that led to storage
spaces. The house was constructed of hand-hewn cypress and cedar, and wooden pegs were used
© Trevia Wooster Beverly
Harris County Historical Commission
September 20, 2014
for nails. There were no closets in the house. Eight pillars enhanced the front porch, and the front
door had a beautiful, mustard-colored stained-glass window.80 A cistern was still intact in 1961
and the majestic black-walnut trees, planted by the first owner, were still bearing. A short
distance from the house was a flowing artesian well that produced clear, good tasting water.
The main damage from Hurricane Carla occurred in the brick workshop, which had been
built by Wooster in the cellar for his farm tools. Heavy equipment inside the workshop floated
around and bumped the foundation of the house. Basically the house was sound, showing little
roof damage and window breakage from the hurricane. The walls were solid, as strong as ever.
However, the repairs needed were more than the owner, Mrs. Ruth Wooster Kelly,81 a
granddaughter of Q. A. Wooster, wanted to do, so the old house was torn down. Time does
march on, and progress is made for some, but some of us must face the inevitability of having
only memories of what was and what we can leave behind as recorded history.
W. D. Crow’s Texas homestead
Willard D. Crow took for his homestead property a parcel of land facing Scott’s Bay on
the road that would be named for him, leading into the peninsula area. Two structures are
shown on the 1893 map at this location in Block I, but their ages and functions are unknown.82
Late in 1893 W. D. Crow began to build his home,83 a two-story “box style” with upstairs
and lower verandas, on or near Lot 4, Block I. He and his wife, the former Louisa Birk, lived in
the house only a few years, as he sold this property in 1898.
The W. D. Crow house stood until 1937 when it was replaced by an “ultra-modern home”
built for oil executive Dan J. Holland and said to be the first of its kind in Texas.84 This prefabricated “Motohome” still stands at 117 Crow Road (Lot 4, Block I) although it is currently
unoccupied and the owner would like to raze it or donate it to a group that would pay to move it.
Photographs of both houses appeared in a Houston Chronicle article in May 1937.
Mr. Wooster knew a school would be essential in attracting new residents and he enlisted
the help of Junius Brown, who donated the land on which to build. The 1894 one-room Wooster
Common School No. 38 served students from the first through the seventh grades. 85,86 Bertha
Brown, Junius Brown’s daughter, was the first school teacher.87 The schoolhouse also served as
a community center of social activity, with box suppers, spelling bees, student plays and other
© Trevia Wooster Beverly
Harris County Historical Commission
September 20, 2014
entertainment, and also as a voting precinct. It later gave way to the David G. Burnet Elementary
School, named for the interim President of the Republic of Texas, second Vice President of the
Republic of Texas and Secretary of State, who lived in the area at one time.88
Post Office
For twenty years, the town had an official U.S. post office. Willard D. Crow became the
first Postmaster on March 29, 1894, followed by Steve Steinman on May 20, 1895, and Junius
Brown on July 16, 1896. Brown remained postmaster until the Wooster post office was
discontinued on January 31, 1914. The mail was then sent to Lynchburg until that was
discontinued on December 15, 1927, in favor of Pasadena or Cedar Bayou.89 Family letters
indicate that Junius Brown’s son Walter would pick up mail at Cedar Bayou. At one time,
Walter Brown also carried the mail from Anahuac to Galveston by boat. The safe that Junius
Brown used to keep stamps and other Post Office documents is still in the Brown family.
Community Life
In its heyday, Wooster was a pleasant rural community, with its own school, a church, a
volunteer fire department with a ladies’ auxiliary, a Boy Scout troop, a garden club, several
businesses, and a chamber of commerce.
Originally, the nearest stores were in Lynchburg and Cedar Bayou. Walter Brown used
his boat, the Onawa,90 to travel to Cedar Bayou, Lynchburg, and Houston to buy sugar, flour,
100-pound blocks of ice, etc., and pick up the mail for his and other families. Most residents of
the acre lots had gardens, chickens, and livestock for food, supplementing their diet with fishing
(including crabs and shrimp, as well as oysters from Galveston Bay) and hunting, with ducks
being especially plentiful. Those who had more milk, eggs, or produce than their families could
use sold the excess, and often shared or exchanged with relatives and near neighbors.
In the formative years, the Wooster area had few health problems and no physician, with
the nearest being in Cedar Bayou or Goose Creek. It is believed that the Wooster community
escaped diphtheria, influenza, and typhoid largely because the children attending the Wooster
School each had their own drinking cup rather than sharing a common dipper. Mr. Wooster
would have been very conscious of health concerns as his daughter, Nellie, was a physician.91
In November 1937, Frank E. Kelly led a drive, sponsored by the Wooster Civic League,
to secure house numbers in Wooster.92
© Trevia Wooster Beverly
Harris County Historical Commission
September 20, 2014
The Wooster Garden Club was organized just two months later, on January 6, 1938.93
Mrs. W. J. Bennett was the first president. Among the improvement projects of this first club
“were to establish the first garbage pickup in Wooster, put numbers on all houses, and plant redbud trees along the streets.”94 The Wooster Garden Club was active at least until 2011.95
The Wooster Baptist Church was founded in January 1941 with 125 charter members
after a meeting held at the David G. Burnet Elementary School.96 Rev. James T. Elliff was the
first pastor. The first permanent building was located at 133 John A Street. By October 1952,
the church had grown to 688 members, and it moved to 7007 Bayway Drive in Lakewood, where
it remains today.97 One of its later pastors was Rev. Glen Norman, who was married to Eloise
Fern Crow, the granddaughter of Wesley Ernest Crow and Sarah Edith Brown, and greatgranddaughter of Junius Brown.
The Wooster Baptist Church organized Boy Scout Troop 134 in May 1941.98 This troop
was active at least until 1977 and likely longer.99 Today, the Wooster Baptist Church sponsors
Boy Scout Troop 1444 and Cub Scout Pack 134.100
Using the Humble Refinery docks during the World War II era, the community housed a
temporary holding camp for German prisoners of war.101 Citizens of the area were especially
conscious of possible sabotage to the refinery. The men of Wooster served as air raid wardens,
also driving the streets to make sure all windows had blackout curtains in place.
Wooster Volunteer Fire Department
Wooster, Brownwood, and Lakewood were served by Harris County Fresh Water Supply
District No. 8. A 1949 bond issue for the water district included construction of a combined fire
station and water office on Market Street Road, across from the Yellow Jacket Inn. Land for the
building was donated by Eddie Cox and the Brown Estate.102 Construction of the building began
in May 1950, and the Wooster Volunteer Fire Department was organized in July of that year.103
By March 1951, it had 25 members. Eddie Cox was elected department president; W. D. Moore
was fire chief, and Bert Manuel, grandson of Junius Brown, was assistant chief.104
The Woman’s Auxiliary of the Wooster Volunteer Fire Department was organized on
February 28, 1955.105 Meetings and other activities of the Woman’s (or Women’s) Auxiliary
were reported frequently in the Baytown Sun though 1963; after that the newspaper usually
referred to it as the Ladies Auxiliary. The ladies were compiling a cookbook at the time of their
22nd anniversary in 1977.106
© Trevia Wooster Beverly
Harris County Historical Commission
September 20, 2014
The Wooster VFD sponsored Boy Scout Troop 883 from about 1961 until 1982. As of
1973, the troop had 75 members, and had had the same Scoutmaster for 12 years.107
The organization assisted in all types of disasters, including water rescues, such as during
Hurricane Carla in 1961 and during a severe flood in Brownwood in 1969. The disbanding of
the Wooster Volunteer Fire Department and Emergency Corps in September 1982 after 31 years
of service was selected by The Baytown Sun as one of the “Top Ten Stories of 1982.” It was
noted that participation had declined since Wooster was annexed by Baytown in 1962.108
Baytown had both a professional fire department and a volunteer fire department.109 On October
8, 1982, the City of Baytown passed Resolution No. 919, thanking the Wooster Volunteer Fire
Department for service to the community.
Business District
Wooster had several businesses, nearly all of them being located on Market Street Road.
Three grocery stores were at Wooster Street and Market Street Road at various times. Havis
Grocery later became a feed and hardware store operated by Howard Briggs. Other stores for
varying lengths of time were Hooks and Wolverton’s. Casey's Grocery was located on Market
Street Road at the corner of Weaver Street in Wooster Heights.
Next door to Casey’s was an old wooden tavern called the Wooster Inn, and early
residents said it was a “rough place frequented by bootleggers.” On Bayway at North Street was
Wylie's, sort of a combination icehouse and convenience store, and on one end, a beauty shop. In
the early Fifties on the south corner of Weaver at Bayway, a two-story dance hall and bar was
built, with living quarters for the family on the second floor.
John L. “Johnny” Wooster, Jr. owned a grocery store, filling station, and repair shop at
the corner of Market Street Road and Second Street (later called Wooster Street) from about
1920 until the Humble Oil Company put in its own stations. He then operated the Humble
Station No. 242 beginning in 1930, and lived on Weaver Street in Wooster Heights until he
retired and moved to Burton, Texas.
Later, the community had a drycleaners and a “beauty shop,” both located on Wooster
The café known as the Yellow Jacket Inn was owned by Eddie Cox and gained a lot of
attention when it first opened on Market Street Road. A café and drive-in, customers could be
served in their cars on trays brought out by young girls dressed in short majorette-style gold
© Trevia Wooster Beverly
Harris County Historical Commission
September 20, 2014
costumes, with a black pillbox hat, in keeping with the yellow jacket theme. This establishment
caused quite a stir at first but it was known to have “the best hamburgers anywhere.”
Before the days of air conditioning, Richard Ericson110 operated a refrigeration shop. No
home had air conditioning but certain businesses had refrigeration units and coolers. Miller’s
Dairy111 had a large walk-in cooler and a refrigeration unit that chilled the milk as it was
processed. Richard Ericson and Lee Miller were both sons-in-law of Wesley Crow.
The Wooster Chamber of Commerce was founded in November 1954 at a meeting at the
Yellow Jacket Inn. Among its stated aims were “planning intermediary roads, promoting better
safety, keeping up with air and water pollution, assisting in mosquito control, supporting the
Wooster Volunteer Fire Department,” and working towards the consolidation of Wooster,
Brownwood, and Lakewood.112
The first of twenty sections113 of the Lakewood Subdivision was platted by Eugene V.
“Gene” Muller, C. H. Kelly and James B. Barnett in April 1946.114 The principal streets were
Lakewood Drive and Burnett Drive. Gene Mueller, president of Lakewood Development
Company, helped organize the Lakewood Civic Association115 on January 13, 1948 and donated
land for a Little League park.116 The association remains active.
In the summer of 1949, the residents of Lakewood petitioned for annexation into Harris
County Fresh Water Supply District No. 8. At almost the same time, Baytown began exploring
the possibility of annexing Wooster, which caused some delay in implementing the request.117
Lakewood was ultimately annexed by the water district on April 4, 1949, and in a special
election a month later, residents of the district (which now included Lakewood) voted to levy the
same taxes on Lakewood as on the rest of the district.118 The Wooster Volunteer Fire
Department began providing services to Lakewood, albeit with a plea for more volunteers from
The Lakewood Garden Club was organized on September 26, 1950,120 and remains
active. The group celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2010 with a proclamation from the City of
The new William B. Travis Elementary School opened in Lakewood in September 1955
with 160 students; David G. Burnet Elementary School in Wooster then had 329 students.122
The Burnet school is long gone, and enrollment at Travis for the 2012-13 school year was 876.123
© Trevia Wooster Beverly
Harris County Historical Commission
September 20, 2014
There were at least six churches in the Lakewood area in November 1960, all of which
were still there in November 1985, but only the two oldest remain today:124
Wooster Baptist Church (founded in January 1941 on John A Street in Wooster; moved
to Lakewood in October 1952, still active at the same location, 7007 Bayway Drive).
Lakewood Church of Christ (founded in Goose Creek in 1928; moved to Lakewood
in May 1954, described as the “second church in Wooster area,” still active at the
same location, 7701 Bayway Drive).125
All Saints Episcopal (founded in October 1958; merged or closed between 1988 and
1998; was at 200 Caldwell at Robin; this location is now a home).126
Bayway Christian Church (founded in April 1959; closed in November 1985, was at
6505 Decker; this location is now Santana Funeral Directors).127
St. Paul’s Methodist (founded late in 1959, started a Boy Scout Troop the same year;
left Lakewood and merged with St. Mark’s ca. 2005, was at 7915 Bayway, this
location is now a vacant lot owned by Goose Creek CISD).128
Westminster Presbyterian (founded late in 1959; moved to 7600 Bayway Drive in
1961; this location is now Shiva Vishnu Temple of Texas; Westminster left
Lakewood and merged with First Presbyterian in 2006; renamed Faith Presbyterian in
In November 1961, a glowing article in the Baytown Sun touted Lakewood as “an ideal
place to live.” The unnamed writer noted that Lakewood covered 800 acres of wooded lots, and
was 30 feet above sea level, higher than most of Baytown, a great selling point to readers still
recovering from Hurricane Carla just two months earlier. At that time, there were 600 homes in
the subdivision, all covered by deed restrictions and architectural controls, and expansion of the
water facilities then underway would allow another 600 homes to be added. 130
The Lakewood Civic Association “featured a clubhouse and playground, as well as boat
launching facilities for those not living on the water,” and residents could purchase memberships
in the Lakewood Pool Club, which had “a modern swimming pool.” A shopping center adjacent
to Lakewood included a “modern new super market, drugstore, dress shop and dry cleaning
firm,” a doctor’s office, and the “recently established Baytown Little Theater.” 131
Today Lakewood remains a thriving community, extending from Bayway Drive west to
Burnet Bay and Spring Gully (aka Slap-Out Gully), and from just north of Wooster Heights to
Decker Drive (Highway 330). The business district that used to be along Bayway Drive in
Wooster has been replaced by businesses along Bayway Drive adjacent to Lakewood.
© Trevia Wooster Beverly
Harris County Historical Commission
September 20, 2014
The possible annexation of Wooster by either Baytown or Houston was a hot topic of
discussion for many years. In January 1946 the Wooster voters rejected incorporation, 165 to
7.132 Goose Creek, Pelly, and Baytown were consolidated as Baytown under a new charter on
January 24, 1948.133 The possibility of annexation by Baytown figured into the October 1949
bond issue for improvements in the water system for Wooster and Brownwood.134 By March
1950, the Baytown City Council had read and tabled an annexation ordinance for Lakewood and
Wooster.135 In August 1954, the 1950 ordinance, which had never passed the second reading,
was set aside, and a new attempt was made to annex Wooster, Brownwood, Lakewood, and other
areas.136 This effort also went nowhere.
In June 1960, annexation mania gripped the county, as Houston prepared to adopt an
ordinance annexing all unincorporated areas of Harris County, thus making Houston three times
the size of Los Angeles. The first reading was passed, 6-2, over the veto of Mayor Lewis Cutrer,
who called it “preposterous.” LaPorte, Pasadena, Deer Park, and Tomball all expanded quickly
to claim adjacent areas before Houston could. Baytown, then about 14 square miles, took in 100
square miles more, including Wooster, Highlands, and a part of Chambers County.137 The grand
expansions did not pass on the second reading, and things settled down for a bit.
In June 1962, the subject came up again, with the Wooster Chamber of Commerce and
the Lakewood Civic Association opposing the move. Major concerns were the levee then being
planned with the Corps of Engineers to protect the area from a storm such as Hurricane Carla,
which had devastated 400 homes in the area the year before; the lower tax rate in the water
district; and the fact that the water district was supplying water to the many oversized residential
tracts in its service area at a lower rate than Baytown city water.138 Finally, on November 29,
1962, the Baytown City Council passed an ordinance annexing 8.4 square miles, including Harris
County Fresh Water Supply District No. 8 (i.e., Wooster, Brownwood, and Lakewood), with a
combined population of 1475 families, or about 5000 persons.139
One consequence of the annexation was inconsistency in the house numbers between the
established Baytown grid and the numbers in use in the annexed areas. Initially the Baytown
chief inspector strongly recommended changing all addresses (about 900 homes and 600 vacant
lots) in the annexed areas, but after protests from the citizens of Wooster, Brownwood, and
Lakewood, the program was scaled back to change only the addresses on Bayway Drive, hence
the 700 block of Bayway became the 7000 block.140
© Trevia Wooster Beverly
Harris County Historical Commission
September 20, 2014
The Fate of Brownwood and Wooster
The Brownwood subdivision of Wooster was named for Edwin Rice Brown Sr., no
relation to the Brown family from Iowa, who purchased the land in 1910 from the Wooster estate
and developed an exclusive residential area with many restrictions. The elevation of Wooster,
including the future Brownwood subdivision, once ranged from sea level to 76 feet above, but
due to years of pumping water and oil from underground, the area sank some nine feet over a 30year period and was losing ground at the rate of five inches annually when Hurricane Carla took
a major toll in 1961. The community rebuilt and bounced back from that, but Hurricane Alicia
dealt another devastating blow on the morning of August 18, 1983. The entire peninsula area was
condemned by FEMA.141 Today that section is the Baytown Nature Center.142
The subsidence that devastated the whole of Wooster as well as much of the Tri-Cities
had begun in the 1890s with rice farmers using large quantities of underground water, and was
compounded by the extracting of oil from the Goose Creek field and the water needs of the
emerging modern industry. After Hurricane Carla, the Baytown area continued to pump
underground water to serve the needs of both residents and industry. The area suddenly became
aware of the sinking and loss of high bluffs along the bays. In 1964, Humble Oil began to use
surface water and built a 350-acre lagoon system for treating processed water before it was
returned to the San Jacinto River,143 but the damage was non-reversible.
Wooster was always at higher elevation than Brownwood, so the subsidence was not as
detrimental as it was in Brownwood. Instead, Wooster has fallen to progress and the success of
the oil refinery that provided jobs for many of the town’s residents. Exxon (formerly Humble
Oil and now ExxonMobil) began to buy the homes for a greenbelt around its refinery in the late
1990s. Residents were not forced to sell but by April 2007 about 90 percent of the roughly 700
homes had been purchased.144 Very few houses remain in the area today. However, there are
still residents in the Wooster Heights and Lakewood areas, including a few descendants of the
founding families.
© Trevia Wooster Beverly
Harris County Historical Commission
September 20, 2014
Wooster was founded by Quincy Adams Wooster and Willard D. Crow, who brought
their families from Mapleton, Iowa late in 1892. Junius Brown, also from Mapleton, Iowa,
purchased land in the adjacent James Strange labor a few weeks later, and moved his family here
in 1893. Until the Humble refinery opened in 1919, most residents of the area were related to
these three families. Wooster and Crow bought over 1000 acres in the Nathaniel Lynch league,
which included Goat Island, Marsh Point, and the Patching and Rundell plantations situated on
the peninsula bordered by Scott’s Bay, Crystal Bay, and Burnet Bay. Q. A. Wooster resided in
the antebellum Rundell home until his death in 1908; the home stood until 1961.
Wooster and Crow platted the town of Wooster on the peninsula in 1893, but this area
first became developed as a residential community with the opening of two new subdivisions of
Wooster: Wooster Heights in 1930 and Brownwood in 1937. The Strange labor was platted as
the “Brown and Iddings Addition to Wooster” in 1895, and was further subdivided in 1924 as the
town of Wooster began to expand, with its nucleus at Market Street Road (now Bayway Drive)
and Wooster Street. The Lakewood subdivision, located north of Brownwood and Wooster
Heights, was platted in 1946.
In its heyday, Wooster was a pleasant rural community, with its own school, a church, a
volunteer fire department with a ladies’ auxiliary, a Boy Scout troop, a garden club, a Chamber
of Commerce, and several businesses, including two grocery stores, an Humble Oil service
station, a dairy, a dry cleaners, and a cafe. Many residents worked for the refinery, at all levels
from laborer to executive, and the town grew as the refinery expanded.
Today the Wooster community is nearly gone, having succumbed to the forces of both
nature and progress. Much of Brownwood is submerged due to extensive subsidence and the
devastation of Hurricanes Carla (1961) and Alicia (1983); all remaining homes have been
removed and the area is now the Baytown Nature Center. In 1999, ExxonMobil began paying
top dollar to buy the homes in Wooster to create a greenbelt around the refinery, and by 2007 the
buyout was nearly complete. There are still a few holdouts in Wooster, but the population and
business have essentially moved northwest to Wooster Heights and Lakewood.
When the City of Baytown annexed Wooster in 1962, it added an area rich in history, a
locality whose three pioneer families came all the way from “Io-way.”
© Trevia Wooster Beverly
Harris County Historical Commission
September 20, 2014
ABSTRACTS (Complete abstracts in the family files held by Trevia Wooster Beverly)
Harris County Abstract Company, Houston, Texas. Abstract of Title No. 80339 to Lots 1, 2, 3, 5,
6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 21, & 22; Lots 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 21, 21, 22, 23, 14, 25, 26, &
27; Block “K”; All of Blocks “A”, “B” “C”, “D”, “E”, “V” & “H”, and Lots 1, 2 and all that part
of 3 not conveyed to Dan J. Holland by Deed recorded in Volume 1012 page 137, Block “I”, all
in WOOSTER as per Map recorded in Volume 65, page 274 Deed Records Harris County,
Blocks “A”, “AA”, “B”, “X”, “Y” and “Z”, BROWNWOOD SUBDIVISION of Wooster is a
Subdivision of a part of the above described property.
Includes map of Wooster, Harris County, Texas, Volume 65, Page 274, 275 by P. Whitty,
Surveyor. Recorded February 3, 1893.
Texas Abstract Company, Houston, Texas. Abstracts of Harris County Lands, No. 79175
Abstract of Title to Various Lots and Blocks in BROWNWOOD SUBDIVISION OF WOOSTER:
and in the “TOWN OF WOOSTER” in Harris County, Texas. February 14, 1947.
Complemental Abstract of Title No. 787509 in the James Strange Labor Survey. Texas Abstract
Company, February 27, 1935. Includes map of part of the Wooster area.
Harris County Abstract Company, Houston, Texas. Abstract No. 78365, Abstract of Title to 114
acres, more or less out of WM. SCOTT LEAGUE, Abst. No. 66 in Harris County, Texas, being
more particularly described in Deed from The Bayland Orphans Home to Geo. Isenhour
recorded in Vol. 100, Page 153, Deed Records, Harris County, Texas. March 30, 1935.
June A. Begeman, "Lynchburg, Cedar Bayou and Morgan's Point Ferryboats: Historical
Highlights," Touchstone 7 (1988).
Trevia Wooster Beverly, extensive genealogical research on the connecting founding families
that include family records, newspaper accounts, and published records. Research on the
Rundell and Patching families is continuing as well.
Trevia Wooster Beverly. Historical narrative for Wooster Common School No. 38 Texas
Historical Marker replacement (2012).
“Brownwood Homecoming,” The Baytown Sun, staff reports published May 18, 2002.
Alice Brown Collins (1909-2000), I Remember, personal memoir of family life in Wooster,
Texas. An unpublished manuscript being edited by Trevia Wooster Beverly and Wybra Wooster
Exxon Refinery. From Humble Beginnings… 75th Anniversary, 1995.
© Trevia Wooster Beverly
Harris County Historical Commission
September 20, 2014
Colorful History of East Harris County, Texas, compiled by the East Harris County Federation
of Garden Clubs (Baytown TX: 1941).
Harris County Republic of Texas 1839-45. Herbert Fletcher, Editor. (Harris County Historical
Society, 1950).
History of Monona County, Iowa; containing full-page portraits and biographical sketches of
prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of
all the Governors of Iowa, and of the Presidents of the United States (Chicago: National
Publishing Company. 1890).
Mapleton Milestones – Mapleton, Iowa Centennial 1878-1978, compiled by the Woman’s Civic
Improvement Club of Mapleton, Iowa, 1978.
Margaret Swett Henson, History of Baytown (Baytown TX: Bay Area Heritage Society, 1986).
Wanda Orton, Baytown Sun: “Bygone era in Wooster remembered,” Sunday, June 7, 2009;
“Wooster pioneers came from Iowa,” Wednesday, June 10, 2009; “The way it was on Bayway,
Sunday, June 14, 2009. http://archive.today/zLfi8#selection-515.0-533.24 (accessed August 6,
Marilyn M. Sibley, The Port of Houston (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1968).
James E. Warren, Cultural Resources Investigations at Bayland Park in Baytown, Harris
County, Texas. Report No. 160: U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Permit Application No. 18176,
January 1988.
Gifford White with Villamae Williams and Ann Mullins. Board of Land Commissioners,
Harrisburg District, 1838 Class 1 (Anahuac TX: Chambers County Historical Commission,
Buck A. Young, The Making of A City. Baytown, Texas Since Consolidation 1948-1998
(Baytown TX: Lee College, 1997).
Nathaniel Lynch League. Surveyed August 1843 by Tipton Walker. The Estate of Nathaniel
Lynch, dec’d. Probate Record Book F, pg. 244-245.
Wooster, Harris County, Texas, 30154. Filed January 20, 1893; Recorded February 3, 1893.
Vol. 65, Pgs. 274-275, Harris County Deed Record.
© Trevia Wooster Beverly
Harris County Historical Commission
September 20, 2014
Our Baytown (Bert Marshall): http://www.ourbaytown.com/
Baytown Historical Preservation Association: http://www.baytownhistory.org/
PHOTOGRAPHS (available on request)
1) The Rundell-Wooster House. Q. A. and Catharine Wooster with family in front of the house
as it was prior to improvements.
2) The Rundell-Wooster House after the widow’s walk and other improvements had been made.
3) Q. A. and his second wife, Adeline Isenhour, and extended family, circa 1905, in front of the
4) Photograph of the Rundell-Wooster house, incorrectly identified as “Scott House: 123 Years
Young” in The Houston Chronicle Magazine, December 13, 1959, by Chester Rogers.
5) A 1959 drawing by Buck Schiwetz appears on pg. 41 of Buck Schiwetz’ Texas, Introduction
by Walter Prescott Webb (Austin TX: University of Texas Press, 1960). Also on pg. 41 of
Henson’s book.
© Trevia Wooster Beverly
Harris County Historical Commission
September 20, 2014
© Trevia Wooster Beverly (Harris County Historical Commission member, 1995-), 2507 Tannehill Drive,
Houston, Texas 77008-3052. [email protected] . Appreciation is expressed for the significant
contributions of Bernice Mistrot, Harris County Historical Commission member, for her mentorship, newspaper
research, and the maps included in this narrative, and to Janet Wagner, Harris County Historical Commission Chair,
for the deeds and court records cited in the endnotes.
Edward Wooster, born 1622, Cheddington, Buckinghamshire, England; died July 8, 1689, Derby, New Haven, CT
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=6203712 , accessed July 1, 2014.
History of Monona County, Iowa; containing full-page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and
representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the Governors of Iowa, and of
the Presidents of the United States (Chicago: National Publishing Company, 1890), pp. 463-64, and numerous
others. Q. A. Wooster was one of the four men on the Maple township committee of reviewers for this book (p. 5).
http://www.archive.org/stream/historyofmononac00chic/historyofmononac00chic_djvu.txt, accessed July 1, 2014.
“QUINCY A. WOOSTER. The subject of this biography is widely and favorably known throughout this county, as one
of its most prominent and useful citizens. He is a Western pioneer, having with his own hands opened three farms from
the wild prairie, and is a life-long agriculturist, but of late years has been devoting a large share of his attention to
livestock on his beautiful farm of some four hundred and forty-six acres in Maple Township. The latter is well located
and nicely improved, and lies in the lovely Maple Valley, on the banks of the silvery Maple River. He came to Monona
County in the spring of 1865, and settled in Cooper Township, then a part of Maple. He took up a claim on section 6,
upon which he erected a house and broke some thirty acres of land. In 1867 he sold this and bought the land and
improved the farm upon which he now resides, this being the south half of section 12, Maple Township.
“Mr. Wooster first saw the light of day, September 4, 1839, in Caledonia County, Vt., and is the son of John and
Fanny R. (Stebbins) Wooster, natives of Vermont and Connecticut, respectively. His father was a Congregational
minister and was somewhat engaged in agricultural callings and made his home in Vermont and New Hampshire
until his death. The mother of our subject died at West Burke, Vt., February 26, 1888, aged eighty-four years. Mr.
Wooster, the third in a family of four children, received an excellent education, both in the common schools and at
an academy, and remained at home with his parents until about eighteen years of age. Receiving his time from his
father, he went to Maine, where he engaged in lumbering and remained until the summer of 1860, when he came
West and settling in Fillmore County, Minn., engaged in agriculture. From there, five years later, he came to
Monona County.
“Although formerly affiliating with the Republican party, in 1872, during the Liberal Republican movement, he
supported Horace Greeley for President and in 1876 and 1880, prominently identified himself with the Greenback
party, working earnestly for the election both of Peter Cooper and James B. Weaver. He was a delegate to the
Chicago convention in 1884 that nominated Benjamin F. Butler for President, and is one of the workers in the Union
Labor movement in this county, at the present writing. He has been a delegate to various State conventions at
different times, and in the fall of 1879 received the nomination of the Greenback convention for member of the
legislature, and reduced the majority against that party in the district, fully 50 per cent. He has held the office of
County Supervisor, serving as Chairman one or two years and has held nearly all the different offices in the
township. He is a member of Amicable Lodge, No. 289, A. F. & A. M., at Smithland, and of Gem City Assembly,
No. 10,029 K. of L., at Mapleton.
“Mr. Wooster was married October 5, 1862. to Miss Catharine M. Monroe, a native of Bradford County, Va., born
July 1, 1839, and a daughter of John M. and Roxy (Willis) Monroe, natives of the Empire State, who were married
Jul 28, 1835. From New York the latter removed to Bradford County, Pa., and in the spring of 1852 settled in
Fillmore County, Minn., where they still live. … He was connected with the People’s Press, of Mapleton, for some
time, as will appear in the history of that journal, elsewhere in this volume. From early boyhood he has been a
student of books and newspapers, aiming to keep posted on ail current topics of the day. His home is always well
supplied with books and newspapers and he knows what they contain. Upon all subjects he hears all sides and forms
his own conclusions and acts upon his own convictions of right.”
Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley,
Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, 1918), vol. IV, pp.
1926-1927, accessed 1 July 2014.
© Trevia Wooster Beverly
Harris County Historical Commission
September 20, 2014
“ALFRED QUINCY WOOSTER. … In June, 1907, having recovered his health, Mr. [Alfred Quincy] Wooster
came to Kansas and bought the Erie Sentinel. Wooster came to Kansas and bought the Erie Sentinel. He is its
proprietor and editor today, having as partner his son, Lester A. The Erie Sentinel … is one of the leading papers of
Southeastern Kansas, and circulates all over Neosho and surrounding counties. While Mr. Wooster has had a very
successful career he undoubtedly owes much to the influences that surrounded him as a boy and especially to the
fine character of his father.
“His father, Quincy A. Wooster, was born September 4, 1839, in West Burke, Caledonia County, Vermont, a son of
John and Fanny R. (Stebbins) Wooster. … Third in a family of four children, Quincy A. Wooster had an excellent
education, both in the common schools and in an academy. From early boyhood he was a student of books and
newspapers, and always kept well posted on the topics of the day and was an original thinker as well. He could form
his own conclusions and his career throughout shows an independence and sense of responsibility which make him a
type of American citizenship to be admired. … In the summer of 1860 he started for the Far West. Locating in
Fillmore County, Minnesota, at that time on the frontier, he made a farm out of the bare prairie. He was living there
during the period of the Civil War. In the Indian uprisings that began in 1862 and culminated in one of the greatest
massacres that have stained the annals of the West, Quincy A. Wooster volunteered his service and was a member of
a volunteer company gathered from Winnebago City, Madelia, South Bend and Mankato and did his part in
defending the settlements.
“In the spring of 1865 he removed to Iowa, locating in Monona County and taking up a claim on section 6 of Maple
Township. He was a rugged pioneer, accustomed to hardships, and in his early years he could perform the heaviest
tasks of physical labor. By his own labor he opened up three farms from the wild prairie, and his later years were
spent in the cultivation and the care of some fine livestock on his beautiful farm of some 446 acres in Maple
Township of Monona County. On his first claim in that county he broke up about thirty acres and built a home, but
in 1867 he sold that and bought and improved a farm now in the south half of section 12 in the same township. In
1892 he removed from Iowa and went to the Gulf coast country of Southern Texas. His place of settlement, five
miles due north of LaPorte, not far from Houston, Texas, is called Wooster, the post office having been named in his
honor. In that locality he spent his last years and died in the spring of 1908. Quincy A. Wooster was a remarkable
man not only for his material achievements but for his mental vigor and his civic leadership. …
The [eleven] children of Quincy A. Wooster and wife were: Alfred Quincy, the first in age. Fremont M., born May
26, 1866, is still living at Mapleton, Iowa. Nellie M., born October 7, 1867, twice a widow and now resides at Long
Beach, California; her first husband was Grant Gallup, a farmer, and her second was Dr. Charles Wheeler, a
physician of Blencoe, Iowa. Levi F., born June 5, 1869, is proprietor of a transfer business at Corvallis, Oregon.
George C., born May 9, 1871, is a farmer at Molalla, Oregon. Ida J., born August 31, 1872, is the wife of W. J.
Shreckengaust, a carpenter at Houston, Texas. Fanny R., born April 2, 1874, is the wife of Steve Steinman, a farmer
living at Erie, Kansas. John L., born February 6, 1876, is a farmer at Molalla, Oregon. Dora E., born April 14,
1878, died at Houston, Texas, in 1906, the wife of George E. Richmond, who lives at Houston, and is an all around
mechanic, machinist, electrician and inventor. Martin E., born February 11, 1884, died in 1896 (sic). Ellen M., born
May 1, 1889, died July 24, 1889. Alfred Quincy Wooster was born while his parents were living in Fillmore
County, Minnesota, on June 14, 1863. He was still an infant when they moved to Iowa in the summer of 1865 and
his youth was spent on his father’s pioneer farm in Maple Township.
He was just 16 when his father published a notice in the newspaper,
stating that as of April 17, 1856, “I hereby relinquish to my son, John
Q. A. Wooster, his time during the remainder of his minority, and
shall claim none of his earnings or pay any debts of his contracting
after this date.” The Caledonian (St. Johnsbury, VT), Saturday, May
10, 1856, p. 4, col. 2, accessed July 1, 2014, at GenealogyBank.com.
U.S., Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865, Ancestry.com. Q A Woster (sic); Residence: Fillmore,
County, Minnesota; Enlistment Date: 1 Sep 1862; Rank at enlistment: Private State Served: Minnesota; Survived the
War?: Yes; Service Record: Enlisted in Company Colburn's, Minnesota Colburn's Infantry Company on 01 Sep
1862. Mustered out on 04 Oct 1862. Sources: Minnesota in the Civil and Indian Wars 1861-65.
“The Sioux Uprising of 1862.” http://wwW. D.umn.edu/cla/faculty/tbacig/studproj/a1041/siouxup/
© Trevia Wooster Beverly
Harris County Historical Commission
September 20, 2014
“The Dakota Conflict Trials” by Douglas O. Linder.
http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/dakota/Dak_account.html (both articles accessed June 9, 2014)
They would eventually have ten more children, all born in Monona County, Iowa, the youngest of whom died in
infancy. The oldest four children did not come to Texas, but the other six lived near their parents in Harris County
at various times: George Charles, who married Mary Ester Iddings; Ida Jane, who married William A.
Shreckengaust; Fanny Roxy, who married Steve Steinman; John Lewis, who married Jessie Margaret Brown; Dora
Evabell, who married George E. Richmond; and Martin Elmer, who died young.
Mapleton Milestones – Mapleton, Iowa Centennial 1878-1978: A history of that part of Monona County comprised
within the limits of St. George, Old Mapleton, and Mapleton, from its settlement in 1855 down to the present time,
compiled by the Woman’s Civic Improvement Club of Mapleton, IA, 1978, p. 3.
Mapleton Milestones, p. 4.
One of his business cards reflecting this is in the family memorabilia of Trevia Wooster Beverly.
He advertised his Iowa farm for auction sale at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, October 20, 1891. His handwritten detailed
copy in the family files of Trevia W. Beverly.
Often Scott Bay is used but an 1845 map of the Nathaniel Lynch League clearly shows Scott’s Bay. A map used
as a frontispiece in Margaret Henson’s book, History of Baytown (Baytown TX: Bay Area Heritage Society, 1986),
shows it to have also been called Turkey Bay and Patchings Bay.
A league is a Spanish unit of land measurement equal to 25 labors, or approximately 4,428.4 acres.
A labor (pronounced lah-bor') is a Spanish land unit measuring about 177.1 acres. A labor is the area enclosed in
a square 1000 varas on each side. In Texas a vara is defined as 33 1/3 inches (so 1000 varas is 33,333 inches or
0.5261 miles). Under the Mexican colonization act by which the first settlers entered the Stephen F. Austin colony in
Texas, heads of families engaged in farming were to receive a labor of land each; heads of families engaged in
ranching received a league.
Although located in the empresario grant of Joseph Vehlein, the settlers between the San Jacinto River and Cedar
Bayou considered themselves to be members of Stephen F. Austin’s colony. (Henson, p. 17)
“Population de la Atascosita en 1826,” p. 13, The Atascosita Census of 1826 edited by Mary McMillan Osburn
(Liberty TX: The Liberty County Historical Survey Committee; Reprint from Vol. I, No. 4 (Fall 1963) TEXANA),
p. 13. Note: Some sources give Fanny’s maiden name as Hubbard.
Lynchburg Town Site by Janet K. Wagner, Harris County Historical Commission Chairman. Also see Harris
County and the Lynchburg Ferry by Janet K. Wagner, both available on the. Harris County Historical Commission
website at http://www.historicalcommission.hctx.net/ (accessed March 28, 2014)
IGI Batch M591991: Frances Lynch married Martin Hardin, 12 Mar 1840, Harris Co, TX.
John Rundell, an immigrant from Mississippi who had suffered financial loss during the Panic of 1837, came to
Texas in 1840 with his two sons. He brought his entire family, including twelve slaves, the following year. The 1850
U.S. Census indicates that Rundell, a planter, and his second wife, Elizabeth, had two daughters born in Texas.
(Henson, pp. 39-40)
Harris County Deed Records, Vol. M, p. 264, dated Sep. 8, 1843 and filed Oct. 30, 1843. Marsh Point conveyed
from Lynch estate to John Rundell, by Frances Lynch Hardin.
Talcott Patching, a part-time merchant born about 1790 in Connecticut, arrived in the area in the 1830s with his
wife Clarissa and their three teenage children: Luther, who died in 1835; Israel, too ill to serve in the Texas army,
who died in 1837; and a daughter, also named Clarissa, a native of Erie Co, NY, who married Dr. David Drysdale, a
native of Scotland. (Henson, p. 19, citing Board of Land Commissioners; also data from 1865 New York state
On the Clerk’s Return for Harrisburg County, Sep 1838 – Jan 1839, Tallcut Patching is listed with Certificate No.
1025, for 1/3 league, and Emigration date of 1834.
Abstract 620, which abuts the northeast corner of the Hilbus 1/3 league, was patented by Tallcot Patching on Oct. 7,
1846. On Certificate 439, dated Mar. 19, 1838, Harrisburg County, he states that he arrived in the Republic of
© Trevia Wooster Beverly
Harris County Historical Commission
September 20, 2014
Texas in April 1835 as a family man, and is thus entitled to a league and a labor.
Tallcot Patching is believed to have died in Harris County between 1850 and 1860, as he is with the family in the
1850 census (Harris, TX, Roll M432_911, p. 27A) but not in the 1860 census (Pct. 6, Harris, TX, Roll M653_1296,
p. 355). In January 1861, C. Patching, et al (Clarissa Patching, David Drysdale, Clarissa Drysdale, his wife) sold the
tract to Wiley B. Wasson. Between January 1861 and July 1865, the widow Patching and the childless Drysdales
returned to Erie Co., New York, where they were enumerated in the 1865 New York state census.
Map of Nathaniel Lynch League. Probate Record F, pg. 244 & 245. Surveyed by Tipton Walker, August 1843.
Harris County Deed Records, from Lynch estate to Talcott Patching by Frances Lynch Hardin, Sep. 15, 1845.
Family data from Statement of Facts, filed Dec. 21, 1874, in Case #6615, Clara and Emma Wasson vs. O.H.
Rundell et al, 11th District Court. Corroborating marriage dates found in Mississippi and Texas Marriage Indexes
taken from courthouse records, were accessed Aug. 5, 2014, at Ancestry.com. (1) John Rundell m. Nancy Griffin,
28 Nov 1819, Claiborne Co, MS. (2) John Rundell m. Elizabeth Rundell, 7 Aug 1838, Warren Co, MS. (3) John
Rundell m. Isabella Hanna, 6 Apr 1854, Harris Co, TX.
11th District Court, Case #6615, Clara and Emma Wasson vs. O. H. Rundell et al (178 pages!) Francis Rundell
filed the original petition for letters of administration in Probate Court on September 16, 1863. He died on Dec. 1,
1863, and his older brother, O.H. Rundell, filed for letters of administration on Feb. 1, 1864. The decree of partition
was filed on Dec. 1, 1866, allotting 5/8 of the estate to O.H. Rundell, and 1/8 to each of his sisters. Prior to the
Spring Term 1868, the children of the second marriage sued the children of the first marriage in District Court,
saying that the 480½ acres was part of their mother’s estate, and was not community property of the third wife, who
had deeded her half to O.H. Rundell. The final decree, which is cited in the deeds to Wooster and Crow, appears in
11th District Court Minutes, Vol. R, pp. 642-643, dated December 9, 1879.
Clara was a minor at the time of her father’s death. The 1900 census shows Clara Wason (b. June 1851) living in
Stephens Co., Texas, with husband Wiley C. Wason, and four children including daughter Sybil (b. Feb. 1892);
Clara was married 34 years, had 16 children, 8 living. 1900 census: Justice Precinct 3, Stephens, TX (T623-1670226A). Death certificate of Clara Wasson (1851-1905, #52504), in Crystal Falls, Stephens, TX. Death certificate
of Sybil Wasson Ackers (Feb 1892-1979, #04784) shows father as Craven Wasson.
Death certificate of Emma (Rundell) Wasson (1847-1924, #12910), daughter of John Rundell and Rachel (sic),
signed by Clara Taylor; Death certificate of Clara Wasson Taylor (1877-1972, #16838) shows her parents as
William T. Wasson and Emma Rundell.
Texas Historical Marker No. 10774 (1990) “Homesite of William Scott (Point Pleasant)” located at 500 Bayway
Drive, Baytown, Texas. http://atlas.thc.state.tx.us/shell-kword.htm From Virginia, he was one of Austin’s Old
Three-Hundred and served as Captain of the Lynchburg Volunteers.
Harris County Deed Records, Vol. 51, p. 322, and Vol. 45, p. 75.
Details of these transactions are included in the Complete Abstract of Title made by The Harris County Abstract
Company, Houston, Harris County, Texas, June 7, 1938 of the Nathaniel Lynch Survey, Abstract No. 44 according
to the Map and Dedication of “Wooster” which appears of record in Vol. 65, p. 274, Deed Records, Harris County,
Texas. Copies of all Harris County Abstracts cited in this narrative are in the personal files of Trevia Wooster
Among those who arrived here in 1822 and stayed were Nathaniel Lynch, James Strange, Christian Smith, and
John Iiams, Apparently they found one family already in residence on what became Scott’s Bay – John D. Taylor,
who sold his improvements to William Scott late in 1823 and moved his family up Buffalo Bayou. (Henson, p. 6,
citing the Lamar Papers). Lynch, Strange, and Scott all received their land grants the same week in August 1824.
(Land Grant Database, Texas General Land Office).
"STRANGE, JAMES," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fst71),
accessed August 5, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Op. cit. Osburn, p. 19.
Harris County Deed records, abstracted by Janet K. Wagner, July 2014.
© Trevia Wooster Beverly
Harris County Historical Commission
September 20, 2014
1850 U.S. Census: Harris County, Texas; Page 29B, Line 22, Family No. 508. James Strange, stockraiser, age 64
years, born ca. 1786. He is not shown in Harris County on the 1860 census. The Jesse White land grant, Abstract
No. 83, lies immediately north of the Nathaniel Lynch league.
James Strange, 1/3 league less one labor, Feb. 3, 1838 (File No. 60, Abstract No. 695), accessed August 5, 2014.
This 320-acre grant is located just east of Huntsville, in what was then Montgomery County, but is now Walker
County (File No. 157, Abstract No. 530), accessed August 5, 2014.
Republic of Texas Claims, at Texas State Library and Archives Commission website, accessed July 20, 2014.
James Strange, enrolled 20 March 1836; honorably discharged on April 4, 1836 (just 15 days later), “in consequence
of his being unable to do duty.” http://tslarc.tsl.texas.gov/repclaims/101/10100528.pdf
James Strange, filed Nov. 11, 1837. Examined same day. Admitted to audit for $4.00. Military. Approved Nov.
13, 1837, E. N. Pease, Controller. https://tslarc.tsl.texas.gov/repclaims/101/10100526.pdf
William Hilbus, 1/3 league (1476 acres), Harris County 2nd Class, patented by William Hilbus, Sep. 24, 1850.
(File No. 116, Abstract No. 336), Texas GLO land grant database, accessed August 14, 2014. (Original documents
not available on line.)
William Hilbus was also granted 640 acres about 7 miles west of Bellville, Austin County, for his honorable military
service from May 18, 1836 to Nov. 18, 1836; bounty certificate issued Sep. 25, 1847, claim approved Apr. 10, 1852
(File No. 46, Abstract No. 191), accessed August 14, 2014.
See listing of the various property abstracts in the Bibliography section.
Alice Brown Collins (daughter of Bert Brown and granddaughter of Junius Brown), unpublished manuscript. This
manuscript is being edited (Beverly & Holland) for publication under the title I Remember.
In the Preface she writes, “Always that first glimpse of “our Bay” glistening in the sun filled me with delight as we
approached home, coming down the narrow country road. Cement posts marked both sides of this road past
Grandfather Brown's house and the pear orchard, past the little white schoolhouse. Down the hill it dipped across
the winding gully and up to home—to the little farmhouse so steadfast and secure—which was our refuge for many
a year. Here it stood weathering in the sun and the wind and the rain, the most unpretentious of all the homes we
knew. Here we were born and here we lived until we were married, and in due time each of us came back to build
our own homes on part of this wondrous land that our Grandfather had settled on in 1893.”
Collins, in the chapter titled “Headed South,” says that Bert Brown, then 17 and in his last year of high school,
met the Woosters and Crows for the first time when he arrived in Texas in January 1894, which was after his parents
had already settled here.
The 1885 Iowa state census shows the following in Monona County: Q. A. Wooster with wife and eight children
(Maple township, family 134), Willard D. Crow with wife and two children (Cooper township, family 67), Junius
Brown with wife and seven children (Soldier township, family 104). Mapleton sits on the line between Maple and
Cooper townships; the town of Soldier is about 14 miles south of Mapleton. Plat map of Monona County, 1930,
http://digital.lib.uiowa.edu/cdm/ref/collection/hixson/id/1237 (accessed August 19, 2014).
N.B. Henson, first edition, p. 74, incorrectly identifies a photograph of John L. Wooster as his father Q. Q. [sic]
Wooster. The caption was corrected in the second printing.
“Wooster pioneers came from Iowa,” Wanda Orton, Baytown Sun, Wednesday, June 10, 2009,
http://archive.today/zLfi8#selection-515.0-533.24, accessed August 6, 2014.
In the 1900 census, John Wesley Crow is enumerated next door to Q. A. Wooster and his daughter Dora (Wooster)
Richmond. Willard D. and John W. Crow appear together in 1860 in Buffalo, Linn, Iowa, and Willard D. Crow was
born in Linn Co, per the 1885 Iowa State census.
No. 78365 Abstract of Title, 340 pages, to 114 acres of Wm. Scott League, Abst. No. 66, in Harris County, Texas,
Deed to the Bayland Orphans Home to Geo. Isenhour, recorded in Vol. 150, Page 153, Deed Records, Harris
County, Texas: Made by the Harris County Abstract Company, Houston, Harris County, Texas, March 30, 1938.
Deed to George Isenhour dated May 19, 1897.
© Trevia Wooster Beverly
Harris County Historical Commission
September 20, 2014
Texas Historical Marker replacement (2012). Research and application narrative for Bayland Orphans Home by
Trevia Wooster Beverly.
IGI Batch M00026-5: Q. A. Wooster m. Adeline Isenhona (transcription error), 23 Jan 1902, Harris Co, TX.
Harris County Deed Records, Vol. 106, pp. 517-518. #20405, Oct. 7, 1898: W. D. Crow and wife Louisa Crow to
Mollie F. Wilson. Also #20406, Oct. 5, 1898: Mollie F. Wilson and husband J. S. Wilson to W. D. Crow.
Willard D. Crow appears in the 1900 census as William B. Crow, 50, born in IA, with wife Louisa and daughter
Louisa, Justice Precinct 5, Harris, Texas (T623-1642-249A) ED 100, p. 22A. 1920 census: Howell, Howell, MO
(T625-920-5B) ED 91, p. 5B. William D. Crow, 70 IA, with wife Louisa and children L. Maude and Leon.
This property was in the James Strange Survey. Additional acreage had been obtained and when they were
dividing some of this property for several of their children in 1935, a map entitled “Map of Stirling’s [B. Frank
Sterling] Baytown Addition, A Subdivision of a 99.06 Acre Tract in the James Strange Labor in Harris County” was
included showing the property lines of what had become Wooster proper. Abstract No. 787509, Texas Abstract
Company, prepared February 27, 1935.
“It Is Bayway Drive, Not Market, Through Wooster Community,” The Baytown Sun, p. 11, August 17, 1955.
Location based on memory of Trevia Wooster Beverly, August 2014, that the family cemetery was located just
west of Packard Street, about halfway between Mapleton Avenue and the water (Crystal Bay), hence near the
dividing line between Lot 1 and Lot 2. HCAD shows it in Lot 1; however, source of the HCAD information is
unknown. The fence was added after the town began to grow, perhaps in the late 1940s. The marble slab for “My
Father” was very large, perhaps 4 ft x 8 ft, and was outside the fenced area.
Years later Q. A.’s grandson, Ray Brown Wooster, came into possession of the land and repeated the story that his
father had told him about an elderly lady from New York who had come down to see her father’s grave one last
time. (My mother told this to me but she did not remember the lady’s name.) I believe that she was Clarissa
Patching (born ca. 1824 in Erie Co, NY) who married Dr. David Drysdale on 4 July 1840 in Harris County and
returned to New York between 1861 and 1865. From property abstracts and other sources, the grave is believed to
be that of Clarissa Patching Drysdale’s father, Talcott Patching, who died between 1850 and 1860. See “Baytown
Area Grave” [with photo] Baytown Sun, 15 Jul 1971; “The Vault” [photo] The Baytown Sun, 12 Jun 1980.
Lost; now under water in area now known as Baytown Nature Center, near west end of Mapleton Avenue, Lot 1
or Lot 2, Block K, Map of Wooster (Deed Vol. 65, pp. 274-275). The first family burial was Q. A. Wooster’s son
Martin Elmer Wooster (11 Feb 1884 – 8 Oct 1894). Other relatives of Q. A. Wooster buried here include his wife,
Catharine Morilla (Monroe) Wooster (1839 –1900); a daughter, Dora Evabell (Wooster) Richmond (1878 – 1906);
and later Q. A. Wooster himself (1839 – 1908).
Originally buried here but later moved to White Cemetery in Highlands when subsidence took the land were
Q. A. Wooster’s grandson Ray Brown Wooster (22 Jan 1904 – 27 Aug 1960) and great-grandson John Henry
Wooster (15 Dec 1941 – 18 Apr 1962); also Edna Mae (Barnhill) Sjolander (10 Mar 1926 – 19 Sep 1969), first wife
of Ernest Sjolander.
Two markers, one for Q. A. Wooster, and one for Catharine M. Wooster and their son Elmer, were saved and were
placed on the Wooster plot in Cedarcrest Cemetery at Cedar Bayou in 1991, but the graves were not moved.
Other unmarked graves here include Emily Ericson (18 Jan 1924 – 24 Jan 1924), daughter of Walter Ericson and
Rose (Tumey) Ericson, who were related to the Crow family by marriage, and two infants who appear in the burial
records of the now-closed Paul U. Lee Funeral Home in Baytown, but for whom no death certificates have been
found after a diligent search: Infant of W.W. Adams of Baytown, d. 07 Aug 1927; and Oliver Stowe, d. 12 Sep
1931, infant son of John Stowe and Janet/Jenette/Nettie (Oliver) Stowe of Crosby, Texas.
Harris County Deed Records, Vol. 61, pp. 510-512 (Garrett L. Scott to Q. A. Wooster and W. D. Crow).
Harris County Deed Records, Vol. 63, p. 61 (Phoebe Adams to Q. A. Wooster and W. D. Crow). The terms of the
deed from Garrett L. Scott were 1/3 down, and 1/3 to be paid in each of two annual installments. The Release of
Lien is dated September 10, 1894, and recorded in Harris County Deed Records, Vol. 77, pp. 426-426.
Burnet Bay is noted as Bay of St. Mary’s on map of Nathaniel Lynch League, Probate Record Book F, page 244
& 245. Surveyed August 1843 by Tipton Walker & Son.
© Trevia Wooster Beverly
Harris County Historical Commission
September 20, 2014
Original letters written by Q. A. Wooster are in the possession of Trevia Wooster Beverly, a great-granddaughter.
Some date to his time in Minnesota and continue to his death in Texas, telling of family matters, crops, politics, etc.
Harris County Deed Records, Vol. 65, pp. 274-475. It is noted that the combined size of the Rundell Plantation
and Patching tracts, as stated in the October 1892 deeds, was 630.5 acres, whereas the same property, when platted
three months later, was 686.6 acres. It appears that the additional 56.1 acres is accounted for by (1) the 11.5 acres in
the non-contiguous Hilbus tract, which appears as Lot 16 in the list on the 1893 plat although it is not so marked on
the accompanying map, (2) the 38 acres in Lot 22 may have been considered part of the previously unsurveyed
Marsh Point in the 1892 deed, (3) the remaining 6.6 acres may be attributed to survey inaccuracy or changes in
topography between the 1843 survey of the Lynch league and the 1893 plat.
Harris County Deed Records, Vol. 65, pp. 263-264. This deed erroneously states that Crow was to receive the
portion “west” of Iowa Street; although by context it is apparent that the word “east” was intended. That oversight
was corrected on May 26, 1894 and recorded in Harris County Deed Records, Vol. 75, pp. 361-362, to make it clear
that Crow received the portion “east” of Iowa Street, including the 11.5 acres in the Hilbus grant.
Harris County Deed Records, Vol. 106, p. 517, #20405, October 7, 1898 (W. D. Crow and wife Louisa Crow to
Mollie F. Wilson); Vol. 166, pp. 316-317, July 1, 1904 (G. E. Richmond and Dora E. Richmond to Q. A. Wooster).
It appears that W. D. Crow may have sold the wedge-shaped tract between Steinman Street and Bayway Drive to
Junius Brown, probably about 1898. Harris County Deed Records, Vol. 819, pp. 184-186, show that on October 15,
1929, Junius Brown’s son Bert Brown and daughter Jessie Brown Wooster, wife of John L. Wooster, sold Outlots
10, 11, and 15 to Seaboard Realty and Building Company, while John L. Wooster retained Outlot 17, the southern
tip of the wedge. On April 10, 1930, Seaboard Realty and Building Company filed the plat of Wooster Heights,
(Vol. 725, pp. 679-681). After the developer had put in the streets and utilities, Wooster and Brown repurchased
individual lots for their children. For example, John L. Wooster purchased Lot 9, Block 3, aka 125 Wood Street, on
15 Aug 1931 (Vol. 872, pp. 647-648).
Baytown Sun, Sunday, March 28, 1993. “Bird sanctuary named after nature lover Myra C. Brown. Husband
Edgar Brown bought land from Wooster estate. Edwin Rice Brown, Sr. bought 530 acres from the Wooster estate in
1910 to run cattle on. His widow began subdividing the land in 1937 and it eventually became Brownwood
Harris County Deed Records, Vol. 247, pp. 386-387, March 11, 1910. The portions not sold to E. R. Brown were
(1) the Hilbus tract of 11.5 acres, (2) the area between Steinman Street and Bayway Drive, being four blocks totaling
88.4 acres, (3) Block 4, 27.9 acres, (4) Lots 1-2 and 10-19 of Block K, about eleven acres, and (5) Lots 9-13 of
Block I, about five acres. [Note: That description appears to transfer about 547 acres, plus Marsh Point, to E. R.
Brown. Source of the 530-acre number in the 1993 Baytown Sun article is unclear.]
Texas Death certificate #48350: Edwin R. Brown, Brown (29 Jul 1853 - 22 Nov 1928), born in Copiah, Miss,
res. 707 Holman, Houston. https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/K37S-GXQ (accessed July 21, 2014)
Death certificate of Myra Cabaniss Brown (10 Nov 1870 - 15 Apr 1953), born in LaGrange, Texas,
res. 707 Holman, Houston. https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/K3ZK-SRB (accessed July 21, 2014)
“Brownwood Subdivision of Wooster” Plat Maps: Vol. 14, pgs. Harris County Map Books. April 15, 1937,
Abstract of Title to Various Lots and Blocks in BROWNWOOD SUBDIVISION OF WOOSTER and in the TOWN
OF WOOSTER in Harris County, Texas, Abstract No. 79175 prepared by the Texas Abstract Company, February
14th, 1947. Annexed into the City of Baytown in 1962.
Harris County Deed Records, Vol. 63, p. 600 (Thomas and Mary Arthur to Junius Brown), December 3, 1892.
Harris County Deed Records, Vol. 57, p. 396 (G. L. Scott to Thomas Arthur), dated __ September 1888, filed
August 27, 1891.
11th District Court, Case #15552, Junius Brown & F. G. Burke vs. Christian Smith et al. Petition filed June 22,
1893, trial set for October 2, 1893.
Harris County Deed Records, Vol. 74, p. 496 (Frank G. Burke to Q. A. Wooster, Junius Brown, and W. D.
Crow), March 9, 1894.
The 1885 Iowa state census shows the following in Cooper township, Monona County: Jonathan G. Iddings with
wife and five children, the eldest of whom are Clarence W. Iddings, 12, and Mary E. Iddings, 10 (family 1), and
© Trevia Wooster Beverly
Harris County Historical Commission
September 20, 2014
Willard D. Crow with wife and two children (family 67). Mary E. Iddings married Q. A. Wooster’s son George in
Monona County in October 1892.
Harris County Deed Records, Vol. 73, p. 496 (Q. A. Wooster to C. W. Iddings), April 25, 1894.
Harris County Deed Records, Vol. 77, p. 147 (W. D. Crow to Junius Brown), June 26, 1894.
Harris County Deed Records, Vol. 78, p. 626 (Map of Brown & Iddings Addition to Wooster), filed March 28,
Harris County Deed Records, Vol. 90, p. 3 (Junius Brown and C. W. Iddings partition), August 3, 1895. C. W.
Iddings, a single man, signed the papers in Monona County on August 3; Junius Brown and his wife Mary appeared
before a notary in LaPorte on August 27 to sign the papers.
Harris County Deed Records, Vol. 101, p. 422 (C. W. Iddings to Junius Brown), September 23, 1897.
“In 1908, an oil strike was made beside Tabbs Bay. Oil exploration began in earnest and in 1916 the Goose Creek
oil field became the first offshore drilling operation in Texas (second in the nation). In 1919, the directors of Humble
Oil & Refining Company built a refinery in Baytown. This refinery would become one of the largest in the world,
and a very influential force not only in Baytown, but also in World War II.” http://www.baytown.org/about/history
(accessed August 18, 2014)
THC Marker No. 10703, erected 1989. “Humble Oil & Refining Company. Ross S. Sterling entered the oil
business in 1909, when he invested in the Humble oil file north of Houston. Two years later he formed the Humble
Oil Company with five partners: Walter W. Fondren, Charles B. Goddard, William Stamps Farish, Robert Lee
Blaffer, and Harry Carothers Wiess. Sterling's brother, Frank, became a company director in 1914. In 1917 the
company obtained a state charter under the name Humble Oil & Refining Company. In order to finance the building
of a refinery, fifty percent of the company stock was sold to Standard Oil of New Jersey. The first oil was pumped
into a still at the new refinery on May 11, 1920. As the company expanded and employed more people, a town grew
up around the refinery. The company provided low-interest home loans to its employees. By the 1930s research was
being conducted at the Baytown refinery, resulting in the production of vital products for the U. S. war effort during
World War II. The post-war years saw additional expansion at the refinery, and the company was merged with
Standard Oil of New Jersey in 1959. The Humble name was used until 1972, when Standard Oil Company (NJ)
became known as Exxon Corporation.”
Texas Death Certificate #28994: Junius Brown, born Mar. 10, 1839 in New York, died Oct. 27, 1922 in Wooster,
Harris, TX.
Harris County Deed Records, Vol. 528, pp. 231 ff. (Mrs. Mary Brown to B. Frank Sterling), Jan. 12, 1923.
Harris County Deed Records, Vol. 557, p. 80 (plat of Stirling’s (sic) Baytown Addition), Jan. 1, 1924.
John A Street was named not for the Wooster, Brown, or Crow families, but rather for John Andrew Old, who was
a chemist at the Humble Refinery. He also was a glass blower who made their lab beakers individually, and built the
pipe organ in one of the churches on Bayway Drive. (http://ourbaytown.com/odds_and_ends.htm , accessed August
19, 2014.)
Harris County Map Records, Vol. 22, p. 1 (plat of Wooster Terrace), Nov. 1, 1945.
Harris County Deed Records, Vol. 1397, p. 219 (Wooster Terrace Extension, by H. D. Jones and C. A. Fortner),
Feb. 15, 1947. Harris County Map Records, Vol. 24, p. 38 (plat of Wooster Terrace Extension), Feb. 15, 1947.
A widow's walk, also known as a “widow's watch,” is a railed rooftop platform frequently found on 19th-century
North American coastal houses. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Widow's_walk)
Collins, in the chapter titled “The Old Place,” has a vivid description of the house and furnishings.
When the Wooster estate was divided and sold, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Kelly purchased the house but never lived in
it. When they built their new home next door, the flowing artesian well was capped off. After the storm damage the
beautiful front door was given to an area resident who used the stained glass for craft projects.
It is thought that perhaps one of these structures may have been the B. F. Adams house that is referenced in the
1879 lawsuit decree and the 1892 deeds, however, the metes and bounds descriptions in the deeds are not detailed
enough to be certain.
Collins, chapter titled “Headed South.”
© Trevia Wooster Beverly
Harris County Historical Commission
September 20, 2014
“Ultra-Modern Home, First of Kind in Texas, to be Built in County,” by Chester Rogers, Houston Chronicle,
Sunday, May 16, 1937, Section 2, p. 18.
“Home, Sweet Motohome, a Prefab Modern Landmark,” Ben Koush, CiteSurvey, Fall 2002, p. 11.
Believed to be the only existing one-room schoolhouse indigenous to Harris County. It was moved to Baytown’s
Republic of Texas Plaza Park and restored. Under the care of the Baytown Historical Preservation Association
http://www.baytownhistory.org/ Texas Historical Marker (rev. 2012).
Junius Brown’s son, Walter, was sent to board in La Porte as the Wooster school had not yet been built. One of
the first students at the Wooster School was young Elmer Wooster, who became ill at school one day and died
several days later, October 8, 1894. Junius’ granddaughter, Alice Brown, finished the 7 th grade at the Wooster
school and her father, Bert, sent her to board with friends in the Deep Water and Deer Park area and go to school
The importance of education has been ingrained into the Wooster, Brown and Crow families, with subsequent
teachers into the sixth generation. The better known of these are Dr. Ralph Wooster and his son, Dr. Robert Wooster
(both university professors as well as authors of note).
The 1936 Centennial Subject Marker for Oakland Plantation, of gray granite, is located on Spur 330, off I-10.
Marker Text: “One mile south to the site of Oakland. Home of David G. Burnet (1788-1870). First President of the
Republic of Texas. To Oakland he brought his bride in 1831 and there they and their son William wrested a
livelihood from the soil.”
The homestead is just south of Decker Drive in a small park area between Mable Avenue and Oakland Avenue on
the north side of Burnet Bay. After his wife died in 1858, Burnet spent most of his remaining years in Galveston,
where he died on December 8, 1870.
The 1936 Centennial Marker for Hannah Este Burnet is located between two homes, 412-414 South Burnet Street
in the Lakewood Addition. However, this location is not within the Burnet tract, nor is it close to the Burnet home,
which is on the other side of Spring Gully, as noted above.
Marker Text: “Hannah Este Burnet. Born in Morriston, N. J., December 8, 1800. Died in 1858. Wife of David G.
Burnet, president ad interim of Texas, March 16 to Oct. 26, 1836.”
Jim Wheat’s Post Masters and Post Offices of Texas., 1846 to 1930.
Onawa is the county seat of Monona County, Iowa.
Dr. Nellie Wheeler, representative of “the emancipated women,” practiced medicine from her home in Mapleton,
Iowa where she was both physician and housewife (Mrs. Charles H. Wheeler; he was also a physician). She later
moved to California.
“From Sun files, November 9, 1937,” Baytown Sun, November 9, 1977, p. 27, and November 9, 1978, p. 4.
“Wooster Garden Club Stresses Improvements,” The Baytown Sun, September 21, 1953, p. C-1.
“Mrs. A. C. Kraft Heads ’65 Wooster Garden Club,” The Baytown Sun, September 8, 1965, p. 14
The IRS “Exempt Organizations Select Check” shows that the Wooster Garden Club last filed Form 990-N in
2011 (accessed August 23, 2014).
“Wooster Baptist Started In 1941,” The Baytown Sun, p. 54, September 29, 1952.
“Wooster Baptist to celebrate 50 years,” The Baytown Sun, p. 4-B, January 6, 1991.
http://www.sbc.net/church/5558-77520/wooster-baptist-church (accessed March 28, 2014).
“Church Directory,” The Baytown Sun, p. 5. Address is shown as 133 John A. St. on Oct. 18, 1952 and 700 block
Market St. Rd. on Nov. 1, 1952. (The 700 block became the 7000 block after Wooster was annexed by Baytown.)
. “From the Sun files, 30 years ago, Sept. 20, 1955,” Baytown Sun, September 20, 1985, p. 4.
“52 Scouts, Leaders at Training Session Here,” Baytown Sun, February 1, 1976, p. 7.
“16 Baytown Area Boys Are Going To Scout Jamboree,” Baytown Sun, July 14, 1977, p. 2.
© Trevia Wooster Beverly
Harris County Historical Commission
September 20, 2014
Raven District-Sam Houston Area Council, BSA http://www.communitywalk.com/ravendistrict#0004q5ZY
accessed August 15, 2014.
These were moved to POW camps in nearby Chambers and Liberty counties and elsewhere in Texas.
“Annexation To Play Role In Wooster $425,000 Bond Vote,” Baytown Sun, October 7, 1949, p. 11.
“Wooster Begins Work On $12,860 New Fire Station,” Baytown Sun, May 27, 1950, p. 1-2.
“Wooster Fire Station” [photo], Baytown Sun, November 23, 1950, p. 9.
“Wooster Men To Form Volunteer Fire Department,” Baytown Sun, July 11, 1950, p. 5.
“Wooster Volunteer Firemen Attending Training Course,” Baytown Sun, March 8, 1951, p. 12.
The Baytown Historical Preservation Association has the Secretary’s books, news articles, etc.
“Auxiliary [to Fire Station No. 3] Has Party For Wooster Wives,” Baytown Sun, February 26, 1955, 3.
“New President Is Elected,” Baytown Sun, March 2, 1955, p. 4.
“Anniversary Party Slated,” Baytown Sun, February 18, 1977, p. 4.
“Troop 883 is Based In Wooster,” Baytown Sun, May 4, 1973, p. 8.
“Fellows Achieves Eagle Scout Rank,” Baytown Sun, March 20, 1983, p. 5. “John Albert Fellows, a member of
Boy Scout Troop 883, has become an Eagle Scout …” [Note that this event occurred a few months after the Wooster
VFD disbanded. It’s unclear who was sponsoring the Troop in March 1983, and how much longer it existed.]
“Industry Source For Top Stories In 1982,” Baytown Sun, January 2, 1983, pp. 1-2.
“City Manager’s Office Issues Report for Month of July,” Baytown Sun, August 17, 1950, p. 17.
“Firefighters Recognized,” Baytown Sun, August 19, 1984, p. 32.
Richard Ericson married Wilma Lucille Crow, daughter of Wesley Ernest Crow and Sarah Edith Brown.
Rufus Lee Miller married Alma Florence Crow, sister of Wilma Lucille Crow.
“Muller Heads Up Wooster Chamber of Commerce,” Baytown Sun, November 18, 1954, p. 2.
Lakewood Civic Association, Deed Restrictions, http://www.lakewoodcivic.org/?page_id=194 (accessed
August 23, 2014).
Harris County Map Records, Vol. 22, pp. 70-71 (plat of Lakewood Subdivision), April 17, 1946.
“Lakewood Civic Group Organized Here in 1948,” Baytown Sun, September 29, 1952, p. 24.
Lakewood Civic Association, Lakewood Area History, http://www.lakewoodcivic.org/?page_id=9 (accessed
August 23, 2014).
“Annexation In Reverse,” Baytown Sun, October 8, 1949, p. 4.
“Lakewood Annexed by Wooster Water District Leaders; Election on Bond Debt Sharing to be on April 29,”
Baytown Sun, April 5, 1950, p. 1. (The election was postponed a week to May 6.)
“Lakewood Full Member of Water District,” Baytown Sun, May 8, 1950, p. 2.
“Wooster Needs More Fire Fighters,” Baytown Sun, February 5, 1951, p. 8.
“In Lakewood: New Garden Club Formed,” Baytown Sun, September 27, 1950, p. 5.
Lakewood Civic Association, Lakewood Garden Club, http://www.lakewoodcivic.org/?page_id=76 (accessed
August 23, 2014).
“Lakewood School Will Keep Travis Name; Board Rejects Wooster C-C Request for Change,” Baytown Sun,
March 17, 1955, p. 5.
“9,040 And More Coming … School Enrollment Hits Record,” Baytown Sun, September 8, 1955, p. 2.
“Travis School Begins Second Year in Lakewood,” Baytown Sun, August 10, 1956, p. 19.
http://www.gccisd.net/users/0114/2013/Report%20Cards%202012-2013/Travis.pdf (accessed August 23, 2014).
“Lakewood Churches Plan Joint Service,” Baytown Sun, November 20, 1960, p. 5. The four were Bayway
Christian, All Saints Episcopal, Westminster Presbyterian, and St. Paul's Methodist.
“Church Directory,” Baytown Sun, November 10, 1985, p. 34, lists these six Lakewood churches.
© Trevia Wooster Beverly
Harris County Historical Commission
September 20, 2014
“Lakewood To Have New Church; To Be Second Church in Wooster Area,” Baytown Sun, Sept. 26, 1953, p. 5.
Formal Opening For New $70,000 Lakewood Church Of Christ Planned For Monday Night From 7 To 10 P.M.,”
Baytown Sun, May 8, 1954, pp. 4-5 (two full pages).
“All Saints to Celebrate Anniversary,” Baytown Sun, October 6, 1959, p. 3.
“Sproat to Celebrate Holy Eucharist at All Saints,” Baytown Sun, November 8, 1987, p. 23.
Single family home built at 200 Caldwell in 1998, per HCAD (accessed August 23, 2014).
“Bayway Christian Will Celebrate Anniversary,” Baytown Sun, April 24, 1960, p. 8. The first meeting was April
19, 1959, at Travis Elementary School. The first church was built at Meador Lane and Wildwood.
“Church closing after 26 years; Bayway Christian plans last service,” Baytown Sun, November 10, 1985, p. 27.
“Worldwide Communion Is Scheduled By Methodists,” Baytown Sun, October 4, 1959, p. 14.
“St. Paul’s Methodist To Begin Scout Troop,” Baytown Sun, December 13, 1959, p. 7.
(Short item, no title) Rev. Jack Peters of Westminster Presbyterian thanks Rev. H. LeRoy Stanton of St. Paul’s
Methodist for assistance in bringing tables and chairs each week. Baytown Sun, November 1, 1959, p. 12.
“Family Night is Scheduled at Westminster,” Baytown Sun, November 12, 1959, p. 1. A study group has been
meeting on Wednesday evenings for three weeks. Sunday services are held at Lynchburg Elementary School.
“Large Addition Planned for Westminster Church,” Baytown Sun, September 26, 1965, p. 10.
http://faithpresbyterianbaytown.org/presbyterian-church-baytown-tx/faith-presbyterian-heritage/ (accessed August
23, 2014).
“Lakewood is Ideal Place to Live,” Baytown Sun, November 12, 1961, p. 8.
“Ibid, November 12, 1961, p. 8.
“Wooster Rejects Incorporation ‘46,” Baytown Sun, January 28, 1986, p. 4.
“City to Celebrate,” Baytown Sun, December 21, 1997, p. 7. (History of the consolidation of the Tri-Cities and
plans for celebration of Baytown’s 40th birthday.)
“Annexation To Play Role In Wooster $425,000 Bond Vote,” Baytown Sun, October 7, 1949, p. 11.
“Wooster-Lakewood People to Discuss Bonds, Annexation,” Baytown Sun, March 11, 1950, p. 1.
“Baytown On Land March – Council Eyes Annexation,” Baytown Sun, August 11, 1954, p. 1.
“Legal Notice, Ordinance No. 236,” Baytown Sun, August 26, 1954, p. 32.
“City Annexes Refinery, Highlands, North to ‘90’, East to Trinity River,” Baytown Sun, June 22, 1960, p. 1.
“Annexation Still ‘Hot News,’ Baytown Now One-Fourth As Large As Los Angeles” Baytown Sun, June 23, 1960, p. 1.
“Referendum Proposed: Wooster CC Opposes Baytown Annexation,” Baytown Sun, June 20, 1962, p. 1.
“Wooster Annexation Wouldn’t Bar Levee,” Baytown Sun, June 29, 1962, p. 1.
“City’s Big Annexation Plan May Get OK Today: Lakewood-Wooster-Brownwood on List,” Baytown Sun,
November 29, 1962, p. 1.
“City Takes In 8.4-Mile Area: Population Increases 6,000,” Baytown Sun, November 30, 1962, p. 1.
“Council Annexes New Territory: Baytown’s Newly-Annexed Area Shown by Diagonal Lines,” [with map]
Baytown Sun, November 30, 1962, p. 5.
“City Backs Up on House Renumbering,” Baytown Sun, June 26, 1964, pp. 1-2.
“Subsidence and the Death of Brownwood,” The Making of A City. Baytown, Texas Since Consolidation 19481998 by Buck A. Young.
The Baytown Sun, Chamber of Commerce edition, May 20, 1976.
“Exxon buying homes for greenbelt,” The Baytown Sun, April 19, 2007. Also see the 2012 replacement marker
narrative for the Wooster Common School No. 38.
© Trevia Wooster Beverly
Harris County Historical Commission
September 20, 2014